Tag Archives: Coronavirus

Thoughts On You Know Who and the “Total Authority” Comment

When this country was founded over two hundred years ago, our Founding Fathers knew what it was like to live under a single ruler who had total authority. To ensure that the United States would continue to be a democracy, they created three co-equal branches of government. This model was to ensure that power was equally distributed and not held by one person or branch.

I don’t think they could have ever predicted that you know who would one day become President.

The latest of his jaw dropping and what the f*ck comments is as follows:

“When somebody’s the President of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be,” 

To put his statement in context, it was in regards to re-opening the economy and the country when the coronavirus is finally in the rearview mirror.

First of all, he does not have total authority and has never had total authority. He is not a king, he is not an emperor and he is not a dictator (as much as he thinks he is). He is democratically elected President who is hired and/or fired at the will of the voting public. In addition, the 10th amendment lays out unequivocally that there are certain rights that belong to the state.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Second of all, if (and this is a huge if) there had been some forethought by the Federal government and an ability to work with the states, I would agree that the President can help to decide when to re-open the country. However, there was no forethought and the states for the most part, have been on their own. I think most Americans would agree that some of our Governors have done a better job than the man we call President.

We need a real President. We need a President who is not in it for himself or herself, but for the country. We need a President who can take criticism and not respond like a four-year-old taking a tantrum. In other words, we all need to get our behinds to the voting booth in the fall and vote this clown out of office.

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Filed under National News, Politics, Thoughts On....

Thoughts On the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Buchenwald

As the world focuses on the coronavirus and the destruction it leaves in its wake, there are other pieces of news that deserve the spotlight.

Today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald.

The clip above is from the 2001 television miniseries Band of Brothers. Though some may say that the Holocaust is in the past and we no longer need to talk about it, I disagree. The lessons from this time in history are as relevant as they ever were.

If there is one thing the coronavirus has done, it has revealed the fractures and the major societal issues that continue to plague us. My hope is that when this is all said and done, we will live in a better world and finally learn from the past.

May the memories of those who perished within Buchenwald be a blessing.

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Filed under History, International News, Television, World News

Thoughts On Saturday Night Seder

I don’t think it is much of a stretch to say the coronavirus is a major downer, to say the least. It has changed everything about the way we live.

Anything we can do to cheer up and help goes a long way.

On Saturday, Saturday Night Seder aired on YouTube.

Featuring a number of Jewish (and non-Jewish) celebrities, the story of Passover was told in a way that I have never seen.

It was funny, it was charming and educational without hitting the audience over the head.

If there was one part that was the shit, it was Idina Menzel singing Ma Nishtana (starts at 23:53). I’ve sung that song many time over the years, but this is the first time I’ve gotten a chill down my back.

It was also an opportunity to make a worthy donation to the front line workers via the CDC Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

If the Israelites were able to survive slavery and forty years in the desert, we can survive coronavirus. We just need a little light in our lives and Saturday Night Seder provided that.

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Abortion is an Essential Procedure

During a normal period, abortion is a topic that is nothing if divisive.

But as the corona-virus continues it’s path of destruction across the country and across the world, some anti-abortion politicians and activists took advantage of the lack of a spotlight. In Texas, abortion was labelled as a non-essential medical procedure.

Abortion is an essential procedure. The fact that we are living through a pandemic does not take away a woman’s right to choose. In fact, it is more important than ever that our rights are upheld and not shoved aside due to a crisis.

Shame on those who would take advantage of our current situation to push their agenda. Now is not the time. When we have returned to normal, then we can return to business as usual.

But until then, we cannot allow special interests to use this crisis to their advantage.

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Filed under Feminism, National News

I Would Rather Have a Zoom Seder Than no Seder at All

It is without a doubt that the corona-virus has changed everything about the way we live our lives.

That includes religious practice.

Wednesday and Thursday were the first and second nights of Passover, respectively. For many Jews, a normal Passover Seder consists of a large group of family and friends coming together to eat, drink and tell the story of Passover. But, with the influence of corona-virus, the traditional Seder had to be amended.

Enter Zoom.

My family, many others, used Zoom to digitally get together with our loved ones.

I think the best perspective on this new way of conducting Seders can be best summed up by a statement my father made Wednesday night. He said that his father, my late grandfather (who died 30 years ago), would not at all have approved.

My grandfather (Z”l) was in a certain sense, a man of tradition. He believed in and lived by the Judaism that he loved. That love of Judaism and our traditions were passed to his children and later, his grandchildren. It is one of the reasons that I am still a Jew in every sense of the word and proud of my faith.

While my grandfather would not have approved of Wednesday and Thursday nights, I know that it was the right thing. Not being in the same room with our family and friends was weird. But if I had a choice of holding a Zoom Seder or having none at all, I would choose a Zoom Seder.

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Thoughts On Passover During the Coronavirus

Tomorrow night is the first night of Passover.

If this was an ordinary April, the next two nights would be about food, family and tradition. But not in the age of coronavirus. While the next two nights will be about food, family, and tradition, it will not be same.

If there is one thing I have learned during the plague that is Covid-19, it is to appreciate the simple things. I appreciate the fact that I am still healthy. I appreciate the food on my plate and the clothing on my back. I appreciate the roof over my head and that I am still employed. I appreciate that the technology exists that allows me to stay in touch with those I love and do my job.

One of the songs that is sung during the Seder is is called Dayenu. In a nutshell, it lists what G-d did for the Israelite slaves. If G-d had only bestowed one gift, it would have been enough (Dayenu). But my heavenly parent bestowed 15 gifts, sending the Israelites on a path to freedom.

For all of my blessings during this difficult time, I say Dayenu. If there is one thing this time has taught me, it is to count my blessings, for which I have many.

From my family to yours, I wish those who celebrate a Happy Passover and may we all get through this plague known as coronavirus in one piece.

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New Randy Rainbow Video-ANDY! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Every story, regardless of genre or format has two basic narrative elements: the hero and the villain.

As the coronavirus continues on it’s path of destruction across the United States and across the world, heroes and villains have started to emerge from within the headlines.

The villain, I think many would argue, is you know who. His inability to lead and his ego has created a nightmare that was thoroughly preventable. The hero, as I see it New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. From the get go, Governor Cuomo has been steadfast, honest and the leader that this state and the nation desperately needs.

Randy Rainbow’s latest video was released this evening. Titled ANDY! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody, the video is a love letter to the Governor as only Randy Rainbow could have written.

Based on the song Sandy from the musical Grease, this song is pure joy and the momentary escape that we are all searching for.

Thank you, Randy, for giving us another reason to smile and laugh. It may just be enough to get us through this horrible time.

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Filed under Music, National News, Politics, Randy Rainbow

George W. Bush and the 2005 Pandemic Warning

Politics has a way of creating divisiveness like few things.

Back in the early 2000’s, former President George W. Bush was, like any President, liked or disliked based on where one stood on the political scale.

Just this morning, a news story caught my eye. Fifteen years ago, the former President Bush was on vacation and reading a book about the 1918 Pandemic. This book spurred him to push his administration to create a plan if a pandemic should occur in the future.

I was not a fan of his politics or his actions as President back then. But knowing now that they were preparing for a future pandemic, especially given the inaction of the current Presidential administration, I appreciate President Bush’s stubbornness in regards to the subject.

In 2017, Will Ferrell became President Bush once more at the Not the White House Correspondence Dinner. He asked the audience how they liked him now. If anyone would have asked me that question fifteen years ago, my answer would have been different than it is today. Right now, I like him as President much more than the current occupant of the White House.

Happy Sunday.

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Practicing One’s Faith During the Coronavirus Only Needs a Little Creativity

It is without a doubt that the coronavirus has upended our lives as we know them to be.

This includes religious practice. With the holidays of Easter, Passover, and Ramadan coming quickly, the faithful must find new ways to celebrate their respective holidays while following the recommendations of the experts.

Across the country and across the world, religious leaders are turning to video conferencing services programs such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other programs to hold services.

What is frustrating to me is that there are some who are are willingly putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones in danger by acting as life is normal. Last month, a Fundamentalist church in Indiana held services in spite of warnings against holding large gatherings. In Israel and in my hometown of New York City, some ultra-Orthodox Jews ignored the edicts by the government to prevent coronavirus from spreading further than it already has spread.

Anyone who has read this blog knows of my Jewish faith. Though I am not as religious as others, my faith is important to me. Passover starts Wednesday night. My family, like many other families, are being creative when it comes to the Seder and the traditional ways of telling the Passover story.

If the coronavirus has taught us one thing, it is that it takes a little flexibility to get through tough times. To say that we are going through tough times is an understatement. That requires us to understand that we cannot live as we did a month ago. Those who willingly ignore that fact endanger us all.

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Filed under National News, New York City

And Now For Something Completely Different: Jennifer Ehle Reads From Pride and Prejudice

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I initially heard about the stay at home order, I though that it was going to be a break from my busy life. But after three weeks of only going out for the essentials, I (like I suspect many of you) are starting to go a little stir crazy.

That’s when creativity and social media comes into play.

Actress Jennifer Ehle (beloved by Jane Austen fans for playing Lizzie Bennet in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice) found a creative way to fill up her time.

She starting reading chapters from Pride and Prejudice and posted them to her Instagram page. Since yesterday, she has been uploading the videos to YouTube.

There is a lot to be obviously concerned about these days. It is extremely easy to dwell on the negative.

But there is also happiness and joy to be found. Jennifer Ehle reading from Pride and Prejudice is puts a smile on my face like few things can.

Thank you Jennifer, you have made this home confinement just a little easier.

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Filed under Books, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Television